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Research Data Management: During Research

Why planning and managing of research data is important

There are many reasons for ensuring good data management practices such as producing a Data Management Plan, using the appropriate metadata, and storing data in a safe location. These include.

  • Complying with funder policies (Data Management Planning)
  • Find and understand your research data as and when needed
  • Avoiding duplication of data
  • Ensuring continuity when researchers leave the university or when new staff arrive
  • Reduces risk of data loss
  • Makes it easier to share your data


Data Management Planning

A Data Management Plan (DMP) is a document used to help improve overall management practices and is conducted at the beginning of the research process. A DMP includes information on how data will be produced, where it will be stored, and whether there are any constraints in making it openly available. To create a Data Management Plan using one of the templates on DMPonline, please click here where you can register and login.

Metadata & Data Documentation

Metadata is the summary of basic information about data, knowing this information makes it easier to identify certain parts of the data. E.g. Author, date created and file size. Having this particular set of information makes it easier to locate specific documents. To encourage the reuse and preservation of digital objects, metadata schemas have been developed and put in place to support the different types of metadata.

Storage, Archiving & File Types

Where you store your data during your research depends on various factors, including whether there are commercial/ethical sensitivities. At Aston, the recommended storage system is Box. There are a range of repositories were research data can be disseminated once complete, including Aston Data Explorer, with a complete list available at re3data. When data is shared, the file types should be unencrypted, uncompressed and non-proprietary.